Monday, April 30, 2012

Month in Photographs - April

Does it look to be a busy month?  It sure was.  I guess many of you know by now that I got a new phone - a Galaxy Note (#8).  Yes, I'm in heaven!  I'm learning all about it and trying to teach others too (see my Saturday Link List - life with a smart phone).  The weather has been damp here in southwest Oklahoma this month.  The lily pond at my museum (#6) is in full bloom.  So are the flowers in the front yard (#7).  DH planted a hibiscus (#3) and pulled out of the ground the giant redbud tree (#9) that died two winters ago.  Very hard wood.  I've been busy on the computer with my art journaling class (Tina the Techie - #1 and Art is Joy - #10); with my favorite linky meme, AlphabeThursday (The Tiger's Wife - #5 and U is for Umbrella - #2); and with my BBArtisans team (#4) .  Our team challenge this month was to create a project that called to mind the senses during Spring.  I made myself a butterfly & paper necklace to hold my glasses.  In a few weeks, I'll be going to Italy! After that, maybe I can relax!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Two week treasury round-up - the end of April

The end of the month means lots of Etsy treasuries from the BBArtisans team.  That's one of our team requirements: putting together at least one team treasury!  Have I piqued your interest?  The BBArtisans are accepting new applications right now!  

I'm going to start out giving thanks to all the curators kind enough to include something from my shop.  I've looked in their shops and picked the handmade items I would have added, if I had my say!  Come visit us and give some love to the curator's treasuries.  

A Touch of Sun, from Kaili
Kaili (chockworkshOst) brightened up everyone day at the end of last week with a brilliant yellow treasury called "A Touch of Sun".  I found a very wise fish in her shop to match!

Here kitty, kitty, kitty!, from Kathy
Then, last weekend, Kathy (tapestry316) pulled at all our heart-strings with an animal themed treasury called "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!"  I found Oranges Bajoranges, the cool cat that she named the treasury after!

What Rhymes with Purple?, from Sarah
Sarah (Magnolia Surprise) began the week with a purple treasury called "What Rhymes with Purple?" I couldn't think of anything, and she didn't have any purple in her shop! But I found this set of eight flower scrubbies that looked awfully close.  And they are so sweet!

Pretty in Pink, from Sheryl
One Monday, Sheryl (SherHastingsDesigns) started the work week off with a pretty pink treasury.  I thought her little owl pattern #1 was a perfect match.

Pale Green & Gold, from Nancy
Nancy (NFallonDesignStudio) put together a fantastic pale green and gold treasury at the end of my work week. I think green has the greatest color combinations.  This collection was especially nice with gold, something you don’t see all the time!  I’ve always enjoyed Nancy’s change purses; here's a green and yellow one.    

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Link List - Life with a smart phone (my favorite apps)

Yes, DH and I finally gave in and bought smart phones. I was the lucky one and got a Galaxy Note. To me, it's more like a computer than a phone. And I love it. But it's another learning curve to beat. I'm sure others are in the same situation, so let me tell you how I'm doing. Hopefully, we can share information!

My phone came with a lot of apps already installed, just waiting for me to download.

My favorite has to be my email. I use it every day (all day) to keep in touch with my blogging buddies and online class. I can keep my husband company and answer my email at the same time. Multi-tasking! I love that it tells me if there's email waiting. So far, I've changed my signature, ring tone and screen view.

With the Galaxy Note comes an S pen. I didn't think I'd want to use it, but have found that I love writing instead of typing all the time. I'll write myself quick messages, then delete them when they're no longer necessary. I don't mind the size of the pen, but if you'd rather have a regular sized pen, you can get a Holder Kit to put around it. Google and Amazon sell them for about $30.00.

I never thought I'd get into digital books. That was before a friend told me I didn't need a Kindle to read books on my phone. What a thrill! Amazon gives you a free dictionary too, so you can find definitions while your reading. I tried it out! For example, because the word "lisovyk" (above) is not an English word, it's telling me there's no definition to be found. But Amazon gives me "more" and the chance to search the book, Wikipdia and the Web to get a better understanding (lisoyxk is a supernatural being in Slavic folklore). I love that you can leave the book "open" - you never loose your place; no bookmark needed!

I downloaded my first book for a whopping $5. This hardbound (only) book costs $28; I wouldn't have had to pay a thing, if I had an Amazon Prime account! I'm really considering going Prime; it includes access to a lending library (one book free per month) and free shipping for all your Amazon orders. But it does cost $79 / year (one month free trial). It may be worthwhile, particularly if you purchase large (and heavy) orders.

One of the first apps I put on my phone (free) was Dictionary, which is a little more advanced than a regular dictionary. If you don't want to type the word in, just press the microphone icon and speak it. It will also pronounce the word for you, whether you type it in or speak it. There's much more! An English and Spanish word of the day, a question of the day, and a map.

One of the apps I put on my phone is Remember the Milk. I wrote about it here on my blog after Rose (randomcreative) talked about it last year! It's a great tool if you have a lot of chores or tasks to remember. On your phone, the completed tasks get crossed off the list - a real sense of accomplishment!

Another friend of mine introduced me to a great app, perfect for the traveling I'll be doing next month. It's called Google Translate, and it's free app through Google play (I hadn't realized that Translate is a free translation service on the internet). All you do is set the two languages you want (your language and the language you need) and speak into the phone.

It spells out the word or phrase in your language and you can attempt to speak it. Or you can press a button so the phone will speak for you. Most of the time, it will hear you correctly; just be sure to speak clearly.

What's your favorite app that you've added to your smart phone? I'd love to know!

Friday, April 27, 2012

JNOriginals - she's ba-a-a-c-k!

Judy becomes oh so very busy in the Spring with Iowa's Destination ImageNation, where she volunteers with students who work on solutions to challenges in a state tournament.   She has a breather right now, before the Global Finals, and she's back with a vengeance.

The funny thing is, on Tuesday I was getting ready for my Sunday treasury appreciation, designing my blog post for the Etsy treasuries I found myself in.  And I noticed myself being picked over and over and over again.  What's going on!  Judy was a curator gone wild!  She placed me in three separate treasuries in one night.  And I know for a fact that she was working on more!

So I thought, featuring her individually on Friday with some of the items I personally like from her shops would be a great way to show my appreciation.  Now Judy has three very active shops.  And each one is very different.  So for each treasury, I picked a different shop to highlight.

Here's my thanks, Judy.  We're glad to have you back and wish you the best in May when you go to Knoxville as an Appraiser for the Global Finals.

Around the Color Wheel in Pastels with crocket coasters from JNOriginals

Around the Color Wheel in Brights with a mini brag book from Mister PenQuin

This Fertile Earth with a Humpty Dumpty cross-stitch pattern

Thursday, April 26, 2012

AlphabeThursday - W is for Week

March 2012
I remember as a child, the weeks in school seemed to go by so slowly.  We used to count the days, speak them aloud, and learn to spell their long names.  I still count the weeks, but in a different way.

January 2012

Now I make my own calendars, and the boxes across the page are not always seven in a row!  When I started my new art journal for 2012, the month of January fit on one page, and the days of the week descends down and not across.  What would Ms. Jenny think!?

Some calendars begin with Monday on the left-hand side.  If you schedule your blog posts using Blogger, you'll notice their calendar begins like that.  I just hate that - it gets me all confused!     

February 2012
If they can mixed up their week, so can I!

April 2012
Using calendars as art is a great way of getting into your journal every day.  Maybe next month, I’ll mixed up my days within the month itself.  Now that will be something completely different.  Stay tuned!  

Don't miss out visiting the other sites this WEEK, beginning with the Letter W.  You can find a large list on Ms. Jenny's site, on my tangent...  Come visit our classroom!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Art Journaling, or art therapy?

Moira asked us to practice our own form of art therapy last week, and create a page that reflected how we were feeling at the moment.  I felt anxious.  I guess it's because I'm going away and leaving my husband and kids dogs for close to three weeks.

"Don't know why I'm feeling so anxious.
I am going away in a few weeks, and it
will be a long time to be away from home..."
I wrote my word out with an orange coptic marker.  Gosh, I couldn't even spell it right!  Next I took some orange watercolor paint and let it drip down the page after I sprayed it with some water.  Then some yellow paint and a bit of red.   I wanted the paint to dry, and didn't have my hair dryer handy, so I  took a baby wipe and spread the colors around a bit.  

Opps, some blue got in there too!  More anxiety {:-D

I added some strips of candy corn (from the Fall) and washi tape.  Then glued down a tag that came off some clothing that was in our fire (another stressful time).  The page was complete by writing how I was feeling.   Does it make you feel anxious too?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Link List - Earth Day / Arbor Day

Earth Day and Arbor Day are this coming week.  So I thought we all needed to go outside, plant a tree (or bush, like us) and enjoy the fresh air.  In the United States, you can find the best tree to plant in your "neck of the woods" by going through your county's Extension Service.

Don't have the space to plant a tree right now?  Did you know that for just $1, you can plant a new tree in one of America's national forests?

You can get involved in the Arbor Day Foundation by volunteering and helping your neighbors plant trees.  Visit the Volunteer Center online and see what's thriving in your community.  And for the future, keep in touch with what's going on through their Facebook page.

But don't stop there!  Another positive step you can take is to recycle.

I came upon this fabulous site, called earth911.  Not only are they a directory for the usual recycled materials, but you can find where to get rid of other materials safety in your neighborhood, such as paint and computers. 

Considering what to do this Sunday for Earth Day?  Have a picnic in the park.  The Nature Conservancy is trying to set a Guinness record for the world's largest picnic.  They and their partners worldwide are hosting Picnic for the Planet.  Join in!

Let me leave you with a new site I've found, called  You might be familiar with it but I think it's new to me.  A good friend from Portland, Oregon is their Recycled Crafts Contributor: Anitra Cameron.  Here's what they're doing to honor Earth Day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

BBArtisans April Challenge -Spring Sense

This month, Margaret wants us to use all our senses for our BBArtisans challenge:

"Create a project that calls to mind how one or all the senses respond to this new time of year."

For me, if I'm going to be outside, it sure is handy to attach my glasses to a necklace, so I won't drop them when my hands are full of books, towels and other things.  I've been wanting to make more new eyeglasses holders anyway and decided to take some beads out of my shop for the first one.

This strand is perfect for the spring. And I love that the paper is Italian. Just in time for going to Italy.

A few friends have been asking me what happened to all the eyeglasses holders I made. Well they sold! So it's my plan to make some more (making more beads was part of my short term goals for the month!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Hibiscus

DH planting hibiscus in front.
We used to have a fruit tree in that spot, but it died in the ice storms.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Art Journaling - Tina the Techie

Here's a new technique I learned in my art journaling class.  I completely covered the surface of my two page spread (though I only used one side when I started drawing).  

I put down an oval for the face, and only then did I paint in the features.  Usually, I start with the eyes, as I see every artist teach.  

Next I clothed my portrait a bit, and wrote how I was feeling at the moment:
"Now that I have the Galaxy Note, I can find anything; just like the yellow pages!" 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Two weeks of Etsy Treasuries in April

Here is another double week's worth of ♥appreciation♥, thanking all the curators kind enough to place my item in their treasury.  I've looked in their shops and picked the handmade items I would have added, if I had the chance!  Come visit their shops and give some love to their treasuries.  

All Squared Up - ponderosaquilter
April 2 - All Squared Up from ponderosaquilter - AWE team's First Friday Art Walk.
Not only does ponderosaquilter make quilts, but also beautiful bags and home decor items.  This bright orange tote reminds me of the beach, and would be perfect to carry a towel and book.  

A Day at the Zoo - NFallonDesignStudio
April 3  - A Day at the Zoo - from Nancy and NFallonDesignStudio
Not only does Nancy knit; she paints too.  Have you seen this adorable watercolor print by her?  It is a part of a series from her sketchbook.  Great idea!

Songs of Spring - SplendidLittleStars
April 9 - Songs of Spring by Margaret from SplendidLittleStars
When does Margaret look at Spring?  I think all the time with her bright tie dyes and hand painted fabrics.  Here's a set of washcloths that are hand dyed and painted on both sides.  Never a dull moment!

All American Mom - HoneyFromTheBee
April 10 - All American Mom by Janet from HoneyFromTheBee
Janet's getting people ready for Mother's Day!  Is it almost May already?  I had a hard time choosing something for my mom from her shop, until I saw the ocean jasper necklace - I think that looks most like what my mom would wear: classic and  artsy!

Rock April With Lime - Random Creative
April 11 - Rock April With Lime by Rose from Random Creative
Looking for accessories to match an outfit?  Go no further than Rose's shop!  She has over 200 bracelets and earrings of various colors - you're sure to find a match!  Like this lime button charm bracelet with silver jump rings.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Link List - in search of artistic blogs

My best blogging buddies on Etsy's BBArtisans team were just talking about adding more members to our group.  One of the requirements is that teammates must post at least 8x's / month.  So I thought as I perused through my Favorites list on Etsy, I'd look and see whether these artists would be good candidates.  What do you think?

111collagedesign  Mixed Media Collage Art by Abby Sernoff  
I love paper and mixed media.  So Abby's artwork is heaven to me.  In her shop she has  original canvas pieces, ACEOs and prints -  many of them with birds and other natural subjects. Her blog and website are attractive but I can see her major thrust is her artwork and not blogging. 

Mini shadow box art by SusanFayePetProjects
What first attracted me to Susan's shop was her desktop dioramas, like the one above.  Isn't this just precious!?  As you can see, she's a cat lover and is inspired by nature.  I went by her blog and found that instructions to these dioramas were available in a tutorial!  Thanks Susan, I'll have to try this!

Yellow Dog Rose barrette pair by joantaylerdesign
Joan is a polymer clay artist, with both a blog and a website.  And by looking at her summer schedule, she's very involved with craft fairs and markets.  I first came upon her shop when I was looking around for some hair barrettes.  Other items in her shop are polymer clay beads, whistles and texture sheets for artists!

Turtle quilt by straythreads
I've been following Ann's shop for quite a long time and just love her quilts and other textile arts.  If I was going to recommend one artist to invite to join the BBArtisans team, Ann would be it.  I've never been by her blog before and was pleasantly surprised to see all the interesting topics she writes about.  She also looks to be an amateur photographer, like so many members of our team!        

Blue Bird Art by hjmArtGallery
One more blogging artist on my Etsy favorites list that I must mention is Helen Janow Miqueo, a California artist who paints whimsical trees, flowers and birds.  They are lively pieces that will brighten up any room.  Helen looks like she's picked up her blogging in the last few months and enjoys promoting others and well as herself.  What every teammate appreciates!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

AlphabeThursday - U is for Umbrella

I’ve been wanting to make some more stamps with my SpeedyCut blocks and I thought an umbrella would be a perfect topic.  Also, what a great subject for an art journaling page!  So I got out a block, drew an umbrella on it and carved it out.

Here’s the result!

I needed some rain since my umbrella was open (BTW, it’s rained almost every day this month in Oklahoma - maybe that’s why I’m thinking about umbrellas!)  

When I looked around for white paper, I came upon some paper I had made about a year ago.  They became my clouds.   Can you see the little raindrops falling?  I added some cute little circles that my blogging buddy Rose (Random Creative) gave me earlier in the year.  All I needed were some words to complete the page.

  Here's the final result!

Come by the AlphabeThursday Linky at Ms. Jenny's site on my tangent...  to see more blog posts beginning with the letter U.

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